Former Iowa State defensive end Jason Berryman was found dead after suffering what police believe to be multiple gunshot wounds in his Jefferson, Texas, home on Jan. 8, per Tommy Birch of The Des Moines Register.
Friends and family members reportedly discovered the body of 28-year-old Berryman, and it is believed that his death was the result of a homicide, per Birch.
"It would appear that someone else caused his death," Jefferson Police Department chief of police Joe C. Hall said.
Berryman was part of the Cyclones football team in 2003 and 2005. He was named the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year as a freshman in 2003, but he was suspended for the 2004 season after pleading guilty to first-degree theft and assault causing bodily injury, which caused him to spend 258 days in jail, according to Birch.
He bounced back in 2005 with 7.5 sacks, including 3.5 in a Houston Bowl loss to TCU. There were high hopes for Berryman ahead of the 2006 campaign; however, he was dismissed by then-Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney for being at a bar while underage, per a press release from Iowa State University.
Although Berryman signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007, he never played an NFL game. He did go on to play briefly for the Arena Football League's Iowa Barnstormers.
According to Birch, there are not yet any suspects in relation to Berryman's death.
Despite the fact that McCarney dismissed Berryman in 2006, he had kind words for the late football star, per Birch on Twitter.
Former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney on Jason Berryman: "He feared nothing. He had this unbelievable competitive desire about him."— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) January 10, 2014
Former Iowa State linebacker Tyson Smith acknowledged that Berryman had a checkered past, but felt as though he was turning his life around.
"He had his moments with the law, but he was trying to be a better person, a better father, a better man," Smith said.
Berryman's death is the latest in a disturbing line of losses suffered by the Iowa State football program in recent years. According to Keith Murphy of WHO-HD13 in Des Moines, Berryman is the sixth former Iowa State football player to have died since 2003.
With Jason Berryman’s alleged murder, the eerie reality is 6 former Cyclones have died since 2003: pic.twitter.com/EUTrQnpYYe— Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith) January 10, 2014
The case of Berryman is a tragic one, as he was never able to capitalize on the immense talent that he possessed, and his life was lost far too soon.
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